Trump's Social Media Platform 'Truth Social' Largely Defunct Because of Inaction, Expert Says
23:45 GMT 23.03.2022 (Updated: 14:04 GMT 19.12.2022)
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Former President Donald Trump's social media company Truth Social struggled to stay relevant after its debut launch in late February due to a series of issues that have yet to be fixed but mostly because of his lack of engagement on the platform itself, Florida University social media professor Andrew Selepak told Sputnik.
Trump was expected to use Truth Social to engage with the public as he had done on Twitter, but so far he has only made one post since mid-February that says "Get Ready!"
"So from the get go, there was a problem with not being able to actually get on the platform, create an account, and then this account was kind of advertised as this space where Donald Trump was going to have a voice on social media and then [he] didn't use it," Selepak said.
The Daily Beast reported that Truth Social averaged 300,000 visits per day in early March. Truth Social was the number one product on Apple's app store when it launched on February 21 to February 23, but its ranking dropped to the 173rd most popular app as of March 12, according to web analytics service SimilarWeb.
"I think one of the first things that happened was that the rollout had so many issues, the day it was available was Presidents Day and people who tried to create accounts, it basically didn't allow them," Selepak said. "To have a big rollout like that and for it to not work doesn't look good."
Trump has been out of the public spotlight for the most part since he left office except for a few media appearances and rallies.
"I really thought this was going to be his way to sort of speak directly to not only supporters but detractors, and that this was going to lead to a lot of media coverage and a lot of interest in the platform to see what he's going to say, especially by a lot of media people, and it just hasn't happened and it's been very surprising," Selepak said.
23 March 2022, 00:50 GMT
Trump announced his plan to develop a competitive social media service last October, which had received substantial media coverage in the United States.
The former US president, who was banned from the social media platform Twitter after the January 6 Capitol riot, promised that his new social network would fight Big Tech censorship and protect the right of free speech and expression in the United States.
However, the terms of service on Truth Social states that users' posts should not contain profanity, or abusive or racist, language” and posts should also “not contain discriminatory references based on religion, race, gender, national origin, age, marital status, sexual orientation, or disability.
Selepak said there is a misunderstanding of what is allowed under the freedom of speech protection and it does not mean that one can literally say anything, adding that there can be repercussions for free speech.
"There are limitations on freedom of speech when it comes to things like inciting violence, there are copyright and trademark protections," he said.
While Truth Social is only available on Apple, there is still no app available on the Google Play store for Android phones. The platform also does not have a webpage for users to access on an internet browser on their desktop or laptop.
Truth Social has a similar design to Twitter and resembles a microblogging site where the user can leave comments, like posts or share other posts and is offered searchable hashtags.
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